Any possible opportunity to sell yourself at an interview or to potential recruiters should be exploited. A business card is a portable way to carry information about yourself that you can carefully plan in advance and hand out to impress. Like everything else about the brand you’re trying to create for yourself, your business card should communicate a memorable, impeccably-crafted image.
Creating your business card
Step 1: Decide which information to include.
Every element of your business card should serve a purpose, so always try to include the minimum information necessary to get your point across – skip the full postal address unless you really feel it’s useful.
A business card serves primarily as a practical way for recruiters to keep your personal information easily to hand, so your name, profession and some kind of means of contact (email address and phone number) are the obvious choices, as well as your company logo if applicable.
If you have a website or profile on social networks such as LinkedIn, this can also be a helpful portal for someone looking to find more information about you.
Step 2: Think design
Above all, the design of your card should be kept clean, simple and readable.
Designers often use the “rule of thirds”, which dictates that content should be split up into thirds rather than equal halves to achieve greater visual effect.
Think about your font choice – serif fonts look classic, whereas sans serif fonts give the impression of modernity and deftness.
Don’t forget to use both sides, and play with colour – it’s said that people hang onto coloured business cards for ten times longer than normal cards.
If all else fails, you can find various free PowerPoint templates on the Web.
Step 3: Add a gimmick (or two)
The following are a few ideas for how to help your card stand out – you can find plenty more examples of original business cards here.
A QR code is a good way to put a simple, accessible ink to information about yourself on a business card.
Die-cutting can create a novel business card that’s shaped in a way appropriate to your business (comb for hairdressers, ruler for architect, car for insurance salesman etc.)
Pop-up cards are also a fun way to create a memorable design, although perhaps hard to pull off.
Offering some kind of sector-appropriate freebie with your card (printing your details on a mirror, pack of seeds, teabag label, pack of matches etc.) is a good way to ensure it won’t get thrown away.
If the first thing that comes up when you Google your name is your own website, you might want to put an indication to “Google me!” on your business card to give an impression of online importance.
Step four: Printing options
Don’t place information too close to the edge of your card in case the printer cuts it off.
Extend coloured backgrounds and images slightly over the borders of the card to make sure you’re not left with any unwanted white space around the edges (this is known as “bleeding”).
Use good quality, thick paper with a high grammage.
Embossed and raised lettering and foil stamping look expensive.
Glossy paper normally works best for printing photos, whereas matte paper is easy to write on and generally keeps well. A business card printed on textured paper can also look classy.
There’s also various websites online where you can get business cards easily printed: here’s a favourite.
Looking for inspiration? Don’t go away yet – we’ll be covering some of our favourite creative business cards in more detail later. To be continued…
Every effort has been made to trace the authors of the business cards featured, however this hasn’t always been possible. If you see your photo on these pages, don’t hesitate to get in touch and ask us to take it down (or congratulate us on our efforts, of course!).